Thursday, June 16, 2011

when space feels tight.


So in addition to my general uterine area feeling tight, I have been stepping on one too many legos around here, and we have been investigating the idea of moving - as in, occasionally looking at a house or two, weighing our options, thinking about what we'd be giving up and what we'd gain, and then feeling like it would be INSANE to think about moving anywhere in the next year, or especially in the next 6 months, but the thought of remodeling sounds even crazier.

We have a great house - full of charm, details, molding, built in 1926. I love our house. We are one block away from where the kids will go to elementary school, and four doors up from my mother in law. And the view! The VIEW! We feel like we're in the treetops, but really we live in the city. Terrible photo - but maybe you get the idea. Taken from our living room, out the giant window.

The trouble with out Not So Big House is the layout is a little tricky - and our footprint is small. We have four finished levels - a basement that is mediocrely finished - a small bedroom and bathroom that kind of reminds me of something you would find in a Cape Cod summer cabin - blue and white, wooden plank swing door, clawfoot tub with wrap around curtain and an antique-y sink, super cute, but kind of iffy on the function level (okay, maybe the outdoor bathroom at a Cape Cod summer cabin). Washer/Dryer, furnace, some storage in cabinets, and a laundry sink. Not a whole lot of extra room - certainly not a playroom area. Not sure what a remodeling design firm would say. We'll have to see. My gut is that we could probably spend a whole lot of money down there, and not really gain that much.

Main level has living room, dining room, kitchen and den - and a view that I would have a REALLY hard time giving up. Photo somewhere in this post. (I will post more pictures, too - because I need some serious thoughts on whether we should stay and make do, remodel or move). Note: no bathroom on the main level, which is WAY more of a pain in the butt than you imagine - especially when potty training, needing to run inside for a second to pee when the kids are playing out front, or when one (or more) of the kids has diarrhea and vomiting, like today. Ugh. Who needed that living room rug, anyway!? We could get rid of our small (Prius small) garage and kick the kitchen out, add a bathroom, open up the layout a bit and then put french doors to make the driveway into a patio. That's our big idea. But suddenly, between that, updating the bathroom upstairs, and doing the roof, painting, blah, blah - we've suddenly spent 200k. Still cheaper than buying a new house I guess. (and for all of you thinking - why don't you just do most the work yourselves? ha!)

Upstairs has three bedrooms - small for Henry, medium for E&Q to share, and large-ish for Chris and I. Master bedroom closet for Max, I think. And a Small Bathroom. Capital S. If we wanted to add a bathroom in the master, we could, but I think then Max would have to sleep in a drawer. Which would work for a while, I guess. Then, in the Up-Up, as I call it, we have (as of yesterday) a playspace for the kids, thanks to my handiwork and the Ikea Trofast storage bins, and Chris's office. And shelves of fabric and yarn that I have had every intention of using to knit and sew for years now. I haven't quite finished the playspace - I have to paint one of the walls with magnetic paint and finish bringing some more toys up. The kids seem to really like it. Same toys/different space=new toys!

I think we could make the Up-Up a bedroom at some point, with some redoing of our HVAC system. It's a finished attic that gets hot, hot, hot in the summer. And iceberg-ish in the winter. But March-May, and October/November, it's perfect!

And I'd like more of a yard, but we're so close to the school playground that it doesn't seem to matter that much. And as Chris reminds me, I don't really have time for gardening right now, anyway. And we have a small garden, 3 decks off the back of the house, and a sidewalk that we draw on.

Maybe I should just organize the legos better and shut my mouth. I don't know. Remodel? Move? Stay? I'm totally nesting.


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